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“La Hora Final” The Bloody End of Shining Path in Peru

La Hora Final is a police thriller by Peruvian filmmaker, Eduardo Mendoza, debuting in cinemas in Latin America and Spain exactly 25 years after the capture of Abismael Guzmán, leader of the Communist terrorist organisation Shining Path -Sendero Luminoso.

Shining Path terrorised Peru in seek of a Revolution based on a massive bloodshed that left 11.000 deaths between 1980 and 2000. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this represents  54% of the of the total crimes reported during that period. Their victims were policemen, civilians like homosexuals who were mutilated before being murdered.

Shining Path Anti-Democratic propaganda. “People of Peru, Do Not Vote! Long Live the Popular Revolution!”

Shining Path was an invisible terrorist group directed by their all-mighty leader, Abismael Guzmán, a philosophy teacher who created the organization in the late 60’s based on the militant Maoist doctrine. During the 70’s, Guzmán attracted young students in different universities of Peru, winning several student councils, thus engrossing his reach.

Later that decade, Shining Path lost their vast control of the student councils, so they decided to establish a more radicalized operation. Later on, in the year 1980, Sendero Luminoso started giving militarized training to their adepts and expanding into other cities setting off one of the bloodiest chapters of Latin American in the 20’s century.

La Hora Final, depicts the three years of intense work held by the National Police’s Intelligence Special Group, (Grupo Especial de Inteligencia de la Policía Nacional or GEIN), from 1989 to 1992, the year when Abismael Guzmán was captured.

The film centers around Special Agent, Carlos Zambrano, and his group who had to work with a lack of resources against an invisible organization, whose leader was more of a myth than a real person, and the corrupted government of president Fujimori.

On 1992, the GEIN and the National Directorate Against Terrorism (DIRCOTE) raid several houses in Lima in search for Guzmán. According to their intelligence, one house, supposedly inhabited by one person, dance Maritza Garrido-Lecca, came suspiciously because it produced more garbage that one person would. Also, they found bottles of cream for the treatment of psoriasis, an ailment that Guzmán was known to have.

On the 12 of September, the police entered the house and captured Guzmán and Garrido-Lecca along with eight other terrorists.

Up to this day, Shining Path appears to still be active. Only in 2017, they were allegedly responsible for the murdering of more than 10 policemen in Peru.

On September 11, 2017, Maritza Garrido-Lecca, alias Terruca, was liberated after 25 years in prison for high treason.